Friday, August 26, 2011


I'm playing in the 47th Berks and Bucks chess congress this weekend. Three days, two rounds a day and a rather generous time control of 40 moves in two hours plus half an hour to complete the game. That's a lot of chessing.

It's funny. I only played at Sunningdale and Gatwick to get some experience of the 'game in 90 plus 30 seconds per move' time control before going to Benasque and now, 21 games later, I find myself wondering what it's going to be like playing a tournament where you get so much time and, come what may, that's your lot.

Swings and roundabouts? Much of a muchness? A bit of both maybe?

This is your choice today:

incremental time controls


x moves in y minutes plus z to finish

You're deciding for every game that will ever be played by anybody in any situation - league or tournament, rapid-play or long-play - from now until the end of time. Choose wisely.

Blue or Red Pill? Index


ejh said...

If you were deciding for every game ever in all situations, I think you'd have no option but to choose fixed time-limits, no?

Anonymous said...

Incremental is the way to go!


Anonymous said...

Got to go for incremental. Even if I am rather good at ridiculous blitz finishes.

Anonymous said...

10.00 am to 3pm, 3.30p to 8.30 pm is a tight enough turnaround as it is, without throwing Arkell length games into the equation. So for two rounds a day, the case for fixed limits remains as it does for evening chess from 7.30pm onwards.

Many, many years ago the schedule was
Friday evening round 1
Saturday morning round 2
Saturday afternoon adjournments
Saturday evening round 3
Sunday morning adjournments
Sunday afternoon round 4
Sunday evening adjournments/celebrity simul
Monday morning round 5
Monday afternoon prize giving then lightning

The move rate was 40 in 2 followed by 20 in 1 recurring.

Jonathan B said...

That old format sounds rather civilized nonny.

e2-e4 events have two rounds a day and go for a game in 90 + 30 seconds a move time control. Games start at 10am and 3pm.

Based on the two events I've played it seems to work out ok and presumably even if in theory a morning game could go on for hours and seriously delay the afternoon game it must be unproblematic in practice otherwise it would have changed.

Anonymous said...

You can't have incremental for venues where you get kicked out of at a certain time so fixed would be my choice.I haven't played incremental for quite some time but enjoyed it when I played in Vienna. Was defending a bishop ending a pawn down where it could have gone on for well over a hundred moves if he was trying to run my clock down but that didn't work with incremental as I was gaining time on most moves. Not that he seemed to be trying this tactic (perhaps because it was incremental).

Anonymous said...

Southend is 2 rounds a day, 40 in 2 + 1hr. Paradoxically i think it's generally less tiring than the e2e4 events because

1) the games themselves are less intense allowing more time for "down-time" during the game and
2) a game of average length will allow a far greater recovery period in-between games.


PJM said...

Just played G90 + 30 in a norm tournament against a 2318 average and it was horrible. Consistently got outplayed in mutual time trouble around move 40. Not that that's a fault of the time control, but it definitely favours the more experienced player, rather than necessarily the stronger one.

Pardubice had G120 + 30 which at least allowed games to reach an ending before the fidgeting began.